KwaZulu-Natal seeks opportunities in aquaculture

KwaZulu-Natal has suitable environmental conditions for aquaculture

Aquaculture industry to promote growth in jobs and economy

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (EDTEA) has embarked on a massive programme. Consequently, to unlock the economic potential of its aquaculture industry.

The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, and Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) CEO, Neville Matjie visited a fish farming project in Egypt. The aim being to learn more about the country’s highly lucrative fish farming sector.

The Birkat Ghalioum Fish Farming Project, counts as one of the most ambitious projects in the aquaculture sector in Egypt. Therefore, the project is also the largest in Africa and the Middle East.

Potential to create jobs and economy growth

Moreover, Zikalala said that the visit was an eye-opener. He said they envision the same type of approach in KwaZulu-Natal, as “we seek to grow our aquaculture sector”.

Additionally, Zikalala highlights that Egypt has been practising aquaculture for decades. As a result, this has made the country the largest fish producer in Africa.

Zikalala said after visiting the project, “The province is already poised to take advantage of the blue economy. Fish farming can be seen as a subset that compliments the ocean economy. With the right support, we are certain that fish farming has the potential to give a huge shot in the arm to our emerging entrepreneurs. Most importantly, due to the rising demand for fish in the face of declining stocks in the ocean and freshwater resources in the world.”

Subsequently, Zikalala said his department had in the past already piloted a number of aquaculture support projects on a small scale. However, the lack of best practice has seen the industry not growing to the level they would like it to be.

He said the department has decided to put more effort into the aquaculture industry. This will boost the potential to grow the economy and create jobs.

“TIKZN’s support is intended to analyse the full value chain and to package investment opportunities for the attraction of investors that can grow the commercial aspect of the industry,” the MEC said.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Ministry of Fisheries has made a commitment to provide technical support to KwaZulu-Natal.

“Our department has all the expertise you need and we are willing to provide it to you. We have been providing support for this industry for over 30 years,” said Egyptian Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Dr Mona Mehrez.

Source: Devdiscourse News Desk

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